The Black Velvet Petunia is a striking flower at home in many flower beds. It’s becoming very popular due to the ease of growth, abundance of flowers, and the simply unique color of the blossoms.
The black petunia flower is described as the closest to a natural black flower on the market today. There are a wide variety of black petunia flowers available to home gardeners, and each one has special care requirements.
This guide will discuss the unique characteristics of black petunia plants. Gardeners will learn the tips and tricks to growing strong, attractive plants while avoiding common mistakes.
Growing petunias isn’t for everyone, and these stunning black petunias require special care and consideration for success.
Where to Buy Black Petunias
Black petunias have become a popular choice for adding contrast and depth in flower gardens and are also a favorite for indoor container plants. Some garden centers and nurseries are likely to carry black petunias, but the best way is to purchase plants online through companies like BallSeed.com. Ball Seed invented the black petunias, but today, other companies also offer black petunia variations.
Buyers should exercise caution ordering black petunia seeds online. Most of the time, seeds from a black petunia will produce lavender or pink flowers, not black. Many disreputable sellers are shipping seeds for plants that are not petunias, and many other scams. Petunia seeds are very tiny, almost like dust.
The best way to get black petunia flowers is to buy healthy plants from reputable sellers. Black petunias can be reproduced through cuttings taken from healthy, growing plants.
Black Petunia Varieties
These flowers are rare because the plants can’t be easily grown from black petunia seeds. Black varieties are reproduced through cuttings.
Some varieties are patented, while others are not. The plants are also known as Black Cat (Burpee), Black Mamba (Crazytunia®), Black Velvet (Simply Beautiful™), and Black Ray™. The most desirable black petunia is the Black Magic petunia from Ball Seed Co. This variety is patented and is only available from the grower.
How to Grow Black Petunias
Most commercially available black petunia flower varieties are wave or trailing types. These plants tend to only grow to about 12-inches tall, but will quickly spread out throughout a garden. This growth pattern is also referred to as mounding. These types require more frequent watering and fertilizing.
Black petunia plants should be acclimated to outdoor growing when started indoors. The plants tolerate full sun when established, but must be protected from direct sun and high heat when small. Growing a black petunia flower is fairly easy once you understand the requirements for the type of plant.
– Black Petunia Flower Soil Conditions
Black petunias prefer slightly acidic soil (5.2-5.8 pH) but will tolerate most types of soil. Drainage is essential with these ornamental plants. Whether planting black petunias in containers, pots, in the ground, or in raised flower beds, gardeners must ensure excellent drainage. The addition of mulch, peat, and compost can make a significant improvement in plant health when growing black petunias.
– Fertilizing Black Petunia Flower
Petunias tend to benefit from more frequent fertilizing than other types of flowers, and the black velvet variety has particular feeding needs different from other petunias. Most petunia plants are highly drought resistant and only require infrequent fertilizing. Black petunia requires more care than other petunia varieties.
A balanced fertilizer should be used weekly for optimum plant growth. Black petunia benefits from a balanced fertilizer (8-8-8) to produce healthy growth and colorful blossoms. If the blossoms shrivel and die, they should be pinched off where the bloom begins. This is called deadheading and will encourage black petunia plants to flower.
– Watering Black Petunia Flower
Black petunia varieties are often drought-resistant, but this doesn’t mean they don’t need water. Many varieties of black petunia prefer slightly moist soil to dry soil. Drainage is very important for these flowers to grow strong.
Watering can be done by drip irrigation, but growers should avoid wetting the leaves which can promote bacterial and fungal growth. Watering should be done deeply to encourage strong root growth.
Shallow surface watering can cause the plants to have inefficient roots. Black petunias should be watered at least once per week, particularly in hot, arid regions.
– How Much Sun for Black Petunia Plants
Petunia plants do well in full sun to part shade. Plant growth and bloom consistency will be best when the black petunia has at least 6 hours of direct sun each day. The plants will grow in shade, but may not produce many blossoms.
If the gardener is planning to grow black petunia in flower beds or raised beds, it’s important to place them where other plants won’t block the light. Black petunia varieties are excellent in hanging baskets where they get plenty of sunlight. The trailing types can grow two feet or more from a hanging basket and will be covered in blossoms.
– How to Reproduce Black Petunia Plants
Black petunia plants are a hybrid. They tend to produce sterile seeds or seeds that do not develop into black petunia flowers. The only way to reproduce black petunias is by rooting cuttings. Gardeners can learn how to reproduce plants by rooting cuttings easily.
Begin with the healthiest part of the petunia plant. Select a soft, green stem rather than woody, older part. Using sterilized scissors, clip the leaves from the top of the stem. Dip the clipped ends of the leaf in rooting hormone powder, then place it in a tray of sand, peat, and plant food. Place the tray in a dark place. Check for rooting after about three weeks.
Once the leaf cuttings have roots, transplant them to small pots with fertile soil. An LED grow light is a great way to encourage young cuttings to grow. When the plants develop, they will be an exact copy of the original plant.
Pests and Diseases of Black Petunia
Black petunia flowers are well known for being drought-tolerant, but a number of pests and diseases can affect these plants. Identifying the problem quickly and treating the plant is essential when pests and diseases damage black petunia plants.
Numerous types of rot can happen to petunias from overwatering. The common sign of an overwatered petunia is droopy leaves that do not perk up when watered. Eventually, overwatering causes the roots to decompose and will eventually kill the plant.
Immediately stop watering the plant and allow the soil to dry thoroughly. Most of the time, once problems from overwatering occur, plant survival is not likely.
All sorts of creepy-crawlies like to eat petunia plants. Caterpillars are among the most destructive pests that attack these plants. Caterpillars can be controlled with commercial insecticides or can be picked off by hand and disposed of. Drowning caterpillars is the preferred method of killing.
Mites are also likely to infest petunia plants. Mites suck the sap from the plants, weakening the leaves and flowers. Severe infestations can kill plants. Gardeners can control mites using commercial insecticides or can mix neem oil in water for an environmentally-safe, all-natural remedy.
The tobacco budworm frequently infests petunia plants. The budworm chews holes through flower petals, causing the flowers to turn brown and die. Budworms can be killed by physical removal. Insecticides that specifically target budworms may help, but avoid broad-spectrum insecticides to prevent killing beneficial insects.
Western Flower Thrips are small insects that frequently carry infections to petunia plants. They lay eggs in the plant material and also feed on the plant, both of which cause serious damage. Thrips can be controlled with mild insecticides or neem oil spray.
– Diseases that Affect Petunias
You can learn to identify what is causing various problems with black petunias. There are more than 130 identified diseases that affect petunias, but many are rare. There are several common diseases that attack petunias, and early identification and treatment are the best way to prevent permanent damage.
– Botrytis Blight
This is a fungal infection that affects the flowers of black petunias. Signs of blight are small, dead, or translucent spots on the petals. Gardeners can use a commercial fungicide to treat blight on petunias.
– Crown Rot
Unfortunately, most of the time that crown rot occurs, the plant will die. Crown rot is identified because the stem of the plant at the soil line exhibits dry rot. Eventually, rot extends to other parts of the plant but can do so unpredictably. Crown rot is caused by organisms in the soil that can live indefinitely.
Treating crown rot is challenging. Because the disease is caused by soil-born pathogens, the soil must be treated. Crown rot is frequently associated with poor draining soil and overwatering, which are conditions the pathogens thrive in. Treating soil with a fungicide may reduce crown rot, but is ineffective once plants are infected.
Stunt affects young plants that lack enough boron in the environment. Plants will grow short and thick, particularly showing signs of growth problems at the ends of the branches.
Stunt is caused by too acidic of soil which allows infectious viruses to attack the plant. Reducing the pH and monitoring calcium and sodium levels can prevent stunt disease.
The black petunia flower is one of the most striking additions to flower gardens. Several varieties are on the market today that exhibit deep, nearly natural black flowers in vibrant clusters. Trailing varieties like the Black Velvet and Black Mamba are great choices for hanging planters where the blossoms will cover the majority of the leaves from late spring through to fall. Petunias grow well in USDA hardiness zones nine to 11.
Gardeners will likely find varieties sold by nurseries and gardening centers. Many of the most popular varieties can be purchased through online companies. It’s a good idea to avoid buying seeds for black petunia varieties, as the plants that grow from seeds are unlikely to exhibit black flowers. Several varieties are trademarked and patented which restricts how the black petunia can be sold.
The black petunia is increasing in popularity in gardens today for its striking colors, but it also helps attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies. Gardeners that follow the simple tips above will have great success growing black petunia flowers in their home garden.
- Black petunias are rare flowers that are difficult to reproduce.
- Many varieties of black petunias are trademarked or patented.
- Black petunia plants can’t be grown from seed.
- Black petunia plants grow easily once established.
- Most black petunia varieties are trailing plants that will fill containers and garden beds.
- Numerous diseases and pests can harm black petunias.
- Black petunia plants grow best in well-draining soil with at least six hours of sunlight.
- Overwatering is the most common cause of diseases affecting petunia plants.